Evan Dawson

Connections Host

Evan Dawson joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.

Evan is also the author of Summer in a Glass: The Coming Age of Winemaking in the Finger Lakes and is the managing editor/Finger Lakes editor for the New York Cork Report, a web site that offers independent news, reviews, and commentary about the New York wine industry.

He has written freelance articles on topics including politics, wine, travel, and Major League Baseball.

Ways to Connect

A new presidential administration brings a new approach to dealing with Russia. We welcome a guest with decades of expertise in the subject:

  • Randy Stone, director of the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies at the University of Rochester


First hour: Professor Randy Stone on President Biden's Russia policy

Second hour: Discussing data storage and ownership now and in the future


Members of Strong Memorial Hospital’s Ethics Committee are calling for an end to “programs of special privilege” at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

We have a conversation about women's health. First, students at the University of Rochester have created a noninvasive test to diagnose endometriosis - a painful chronic condition that is currently only diagnosed through surgery. We discuss how that test could change the lives of millions of women, and the latest in endometriosis research and treatment.

We also discuss fibroids, noncancerous growths in the uterus. According to research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, more than 80 percent of African American women and 70 percent of white women will have uterine fibroids by age 50.

We talk about both conditions with our guests:

  • Rebecca Alicandro, M.D., obstetrics and gynecology specialist with Rochester Regional Health
  • Anne Meyer, Ph.D., associate professor of biology at the University of Rochester
  • Meghan Martin, UR Class of 2021, double majoring in biochemistry and American Sign Language
  • Deprina Godboldo, freelance content producer, and two-time fibroid survivor 

Governor Cuomo is facing increasing criticism over the way the state has handled COVID-19 in nursing homes. Attorney General Tish James recently released a report indicating New York State has severely undercounted the number of nursing home deaths related to the pandemic. Advocates have been calling for change in nursing homes long before the pandemic, and now they feel that the door is finally open to achieve those changes.

We discuss it with our guests:


First hour: Discussing the state of nursing homes in New York

Second hour: What do you need to know about endometriosis and fibroids?

Leaders across the community are responding to Rochester Police Department officers handcuffing and pepper spraying a nine-year-old girl on Friday. The incident has brought more national attention to policing in Rochester.

Reverend Lewis Stewart of United Christian Leadership Ministry and mental health advocate Melanie Funchess are among the leaders calling for comprehensive and culturally responsive mental health services, as well as for RPD to change its procedures involving minors. They join us this hour to discuss these issues and more. Our guests:

"Vaccinated People Are Going to Hug Each Other." That's the title of the latest op-ed from Julia Marcus, epidemiologist and professor at Harvard Medical School. Writing for the Atlantic Monthly, Marcus emphasizes hope when it comes to vaccines bringing an end to the pandemic. She argues that the prevailing message in the U.S. -- that because the vaccines aren't perfect, vaccinated people shouldn't let their guards down, even among other vaccinated people -- creates the misimpression that vaccines offer little benefit. "Trying to eliminate even the lowest-risk changes in behavior both underestimates people’s need to be close to one another and discourages the very thing that will get everyone out of this mess: vaccine uptake," she writes.

Marcus joins us for the hour. Our guest:

  • Julia Marcus, epidemiologist and professor at Harvard Medical School

University of Rochester

First hour: Epidemiologist Julia Marcus on how vaccines can change social interactions

Second hour: Evaluating policing procedures that involve minors

Former Rochester Mayor Bill Johnson has a lot to say about a number of issues, including a Rochester Police Department officer pepper spraying a nine-year-old girl, and the inauguration of the new president. Johnson has roots in the south and frequently commented on support for former President Trump during his visits back home. He joins us to talk about where the country goes next.

Our guest:

  • Bill Johnson, former mayor of the City of Rochester